Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Friday, 3 August 2012

And the answer is ......... Pearl BUTTONS !!!

So, you will remember I came home with my box of shells and started the discovery.

The beautiful shells were part of a collection owned by Paul Dumas and Company.
A French business that started in the 1830's making buttons.

Old postcard showing the Paul Dumas factory.

Shells were collected from all over the world and so that is why they have their labels and their place of origin and the type of shell written on.

I was truly fascinated.

The buttons were used for clothing and on shoes.
In 1960 the factory changed its use becoming a place for making shoes.

Paul Dumas and Company were situated in Picardy, Northern France.
There were many companies making items such as fans, dominoes and buttons etc.
Now there is a museum which records the history of  the beautiful items which were made in the area.
It is possible also to watch buttons being made.


One day I hope to visit the museum and maybe find out more about the company that my shells came from.

I have collected buttons from when I was a child being inspired by my Nan's button box.
I spent many happy hours playing with them.

I'm going to sell some of the shells at the next vintage textile fair I go to but in the meantime if any of you are interested in owning one of these beauties please contact me.

I now appreciate why pearl buttons were so expensive at the time and were taken off clothing and used again and again.

Much work and many hours would have gone into making a set of buttons to be used on an item of

I am so glad that I managed to win them at the auction.


  1. how interesting. I had no idea. You see them so often, and never think how they are made.
    Have a great weekend,

  2. Am also intrigued to see part of the process. Simple and wonderful. Have also had another lovely wander around your blog Diane. Love the glimpses you give us of life in France. Decided Iwould go to my trusty imap application and look up Kerjacob in order to see where you are. Three different ones came up so please can you give me some pin points? Are you living the life most of us dream of by renovating a stone home and living the French life - or is it more difficult than we imagine? Would love to know :-) Warmly, susan

  3. Are any of these shells still available? If so I'd love to buy several of them!